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How to build a compelling social media marketing plan

5 min read

Brands & Campaigns

Designing a social media marketing strategy for clients is no cakewalk. Typically, their current social media efforts are lacking – they may have big ideas, but have little direction or know-how when it comes to executing them. This is why they came to you.

It’s your job to not only help weave these ideas into a tangible plan that can help the client achieve his or her goals, but you will also need to document results to prove a positive ROI from your efforts.

Half of 600 social media marketers, surveyed by TrustRadius February through March, struggle to tie social media activities to business outcomes.

Here are some tips for designing a compelling, organized social media marketing plan:

1. Help the client set goals.

Help the client set SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and tangible) goals. While, generating brand awareness and increasing web traffic are good places to start, goals need to be more specific and measurable. For brand awareness, the goal could be to consistently gain organic “likers” or followers by X percent by the end of the year. For increasing web traffic, the goal could be to acquire X unique site visitors that result in X conversions within six months.

2. Take a snapshot of the client’s current virtual presence.

Document all relevant information about the client’s current virtual presence, including website URLs, blogs, current web traffic, and social media analytics. This will help you conduct an analysis of your client’s current strengths, and areas of opportunity, as it relates to achieving goals. For example, if the client’s blog doesn’t look so great, but a goal is to improve search engine rankings, one big area of opportunity will be redesigning the blog with a great SEO.

3. Define the audience to whom the client is speaking.

Before your client’s brand speaks to its audience, it has to know who the audience is. Determine the target audience based on demographics (i.e., age, income, gender), psychographics (i.e., behavior, interests, beliefs), and geographics (i.e., location). Craft a few brand messaging statements that will captivate and intrigue that audience. Determine the type of language you’ll use and the content you’ll share — all should resonate with the desired audience.

4. Identify specific strategies and tactics.

Identify strategies and tactics based on goals. Let’s say the goal is to gain more brand awareness on Twitter. A strategy could be to form relationships with key influencers on Twitter. As a tactical action, search Twitter for key industry terms or look at key people following industry competitors. Look at users’ social authority to determine who has the highest engagement levels and start conversations with them.

5. Determine the tasks for which you and the client will each be responsible.

Determine which activities the client wants to do in-house and which he or she wants you to handle. For example, maybe the client wants to handle event updates on Facebook, and would rather you handle blog content sharing and analytics. You can price services a la carte and use an interactive pricing table, to help the client choose individual options.

Additionally, you could use pricing tables to itemize different social media packages. List each item and its price, include any applicable discounts, and allow your client to see the cost breakdown.

6. Decide how you’re going to measure results.

You will need a way to prove your work creates a positive ROI, even though it’s not always an easy thing to measure. In fact, 60% of social media marketers say measuring ROI is a top challenge, according to the aforementioned survey by TrustRadius.

Decide how you’re going to measure and report results. For example, you could use shortened URLs to track links and social media analytics to track engagement patterns. Determine when and how often you’ll share reports with the client and key metrics you’ll look at to figure success.

7. Communicate with the client right within the proposal platform.

Sometimes schedules don’t align, and collaboration with clients is tough. But if you build your social media marketing proposals using a smart document automation platform, you can send documents to clients and receive them back with approval or feedback, instantly. Many of these platforms are also equipped with features that allow you to communicate back and forth about needed changes and approvals right on the document, so you can keep track of conversations with ease.

Every successful plan begins with a framework or template to organize goals and action items needed to achieve them. Use these steps as a drawing board and you’ll be able to whip up a social media marketing plan with ease.

What are some of your biggest challenges creating social media marketing plans for clients? Would a template help? Share in the comments below!

Mikita Mikado is a software engineer, entrepreneur and co-founder and CEO of PandaDoc, makers of all-in-one software that enables easier, faster delivery of high-quality, personalized sales proposals.